HC Deb 11 July 1966 vol 731 cc146-7W
94 and 95. Mr. George Craddock

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, in view of the fact that her Department is encouraging local authorities to provide services directed towards the rehabilitation of handicapped persons, if she will consider the payment of unemployment benefit in such cases;

(2) if she is aware that a registered handicapped person, whose name has been sent to her by the hon. Member for Bradford, South, who attended Bradford Corporation's Social and Craft Centre recently, had his claim for unemployment benefit disallowed by the insurance officer on the grounds that his attendance at the Centre constituted the following of an occupation which was not consistent with the full-time employment for which he was available; what action she will take in this matter; and if she will make a statement;

(3) if she will issue further National Insurance (Unemployment and Sickness Benefit) Regulations to ensure that where possible handicapped people are encouraged to obtain work outside the home, and for those whose handicaps are too severe to allow this, that there is occupational work at a nearby occupational centre.

Miss Herbison

I am aware of the case, but I cannot intervene in the decisions of the independent authorities who decide claims to unemployment benefit.

Unemployment benefit can be paid to people who attend occupational centres provided that they do not receive remuneration which brings them within the scope of the ordinary benefit rules. The extent to which anyone can engage in remunerative work and still be properly entitled to unemployment benefit must be strictly limited but I am reexamining these rules in the context of the changes in unemployment benefit introduced by the National Insurance Act 1966.